If you’re using Microsoft Outlook as an alternative to Apple’s own Mail program on your Mac, then you probably know that it’s a darned good app. I have to use it pretty often for certain clients, and I’ve come to like it. Even if it was begrudging affection at first.
So if Outlook is your program of choice, knowing how to clear out its recent contacts is pretty important. What I mean by “recent contacts” is what automatically shows up as you start typing an address when you’re composing an email:
See those items with the “X” next to them? Those are the so-called recent contacts. As Microsoft puts it on their support pages:
When you compose an email message and add people on the To, Cc, or Bcc line, Outlook suggests names as you type characters. The list of names that Outlook uses is a combination of stored contacts, the company directory, and recent contacts. Recent contacts have an “X” character next to each name.
Now that we know that, here’s how you can remove those recent items! This will keep them from autofilling, which means that you’ll have fewer old emails to wade through when you’re just trying to find the correct addressee from your actual contacts.
- To remove individual email addresses from your list of recent contacts, launch Outlook and create a new email.
- In the “To” field, start typing the first few letters of the address (or the person’s name) you’d like to remove, as shown in the earlier screenshot.
- Finally, just click the circled “x” next to each one you wish to remove and it will take that person out of your list!
Now, what if you want to remove all of your recent addresses, which will get rid of everyone who’s not in your contacts or your company directory? Microsoft has a tool for that at this link (near the bottom). If you use that, though, be certain that whatever problem you’re having with recent addresses is really huge, as this will wipe them all out. So unless you’re super-consistent about adding folks you email to your contacts list, you probably don’t want to use this except as a last-ditch, autocomplete-is-not-working-at-all troubleshooting tool. But hey, sometimes we need those!
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